December 13, 2013 Subject:
He's Gone...Too...Wharf Rat
Well I say, these are some of the most emotional and charged versions so far in the 70's. Love that Wharf Rat!
September 26, 2012 Subject:
I can only second what the other reviewers have said. Fall '79 has to be one of the Dead's best tours. Their Brent-era sound was just starting to fire on all pistons, and Jerry was consistently playing in the pocket night after night. His voice is strong, Tiger sounds amazing, and his solos were inspired. Phil just began using his Irwin Tiger look-alike bass on this tour. It adds a rich punchy tone to the mix, reminiscent of Big Brown. Brent is playing a "dynoed" Rhodes piano and B-3 organ. I love the key-clicking sounds he gets out of these instruments. Bobby still using Mesa heads and Ibanez 'Cowboy Fancy' guitars; no rancid distortion yet (as we would hear later on (especially in '93-'95). His tone is warm and bright. Drummers are on fire, as usual.
Highlights here are Lost>Saint, cowboy songs, a tight Deal, a fourteen minute Estimated into a twenty-one minute He's Gone.
Great clean sound. Breathtaking performance.
November 4, 2011 Subject:
Bomberman Has It Right
This He's Gone is absolutely Killer. This tour is one of the best ever!
He also may be right about the rating, but I had to give it a 5 becuase I didn't notice the He's gone cut at first listen.
May 2, 2010 Subject:
Surpised there are no other reviews...
I was one of those "unfortunate" ones who never experienced a show during the Keith/Donna years. I basically "grew up" during the reign of Brent and though one could honestly say that he joined during the beginning of the decline of the band, it certainly wasn't anything to do with him, more or less the excesses of the "rock & roll" life began to take a toll on Jerry especially. But with this being said (and probably unnecessarily) let it be known that IMOH Brent was the best musician to man the keys in the bands history. So begins my attempt to go back to the "early on" of his tenure with the band, to a time when the others still had energy and passion and the excitement that new blood always seems to bring to a band (just lsten to some of those October '71 shows to see what I mean).
The show here is relatively laid back with lots of Brent's electric piano and Hammond organ that would come to be his trademark sound. They start off with a nice Minglewood that has a different flavor from the previous versions. The TLEO is fantastic with wonderful playing throughout. Me & My Uncle > Big River are played very well with an abundance of energy. Althea flows along beautifully with the electric keys adding a jazzier feel. The beginning of Easy to Love You is cut but what is here is played well. BEW is good and Jerry is singing with feeling, but there are some sound issues that begin to surface here. Lost Sailor > SOC > Deal are all very strong to close the 1st set.
Alabama > GSET kick off the 2nd set in fine fashion. SOF and Estimated are also excellent but the version of He's Gone is exceptional. Starting out beautiful, soft and jazzy, around the 14 min mark it begins to explode into a fusion-like psychedelic jam of monstrous proportion. There is a cut following the bridge which is a shame, but do not let this stop you from continuing on! TOO is relatively short but hot and the Wharf Rat here is excellent with Brent's Hammond adding to the grandeur of the composition. Around & Around cuts off prematurely...no need to even comment.
The show itself is excellent, definitely worthy of 5 stars. The sound, though mostly pretty good, is only worth 3 stars due to the fact that Jerry's guitar fades in & out during quite a few of the tracks, making some of his solos barely audible. A mean rating of 4 stars is what I'm giving and I believe most will agree.
I noticed this hasn't been streamed that much and what a shame, this show is fantastic. Give a listen...